Flight Safety | Civil Aviation Authority (2023)

Different types of flights and their safety history

There are many ways to take to the skies, from a trip to Australia on a regular plane, a short flight in a friend's private plane or a champagne balloon ride.

Each comes with different levels of oversight and security risk. Below are some examples and statistics to give you more information so you can make informed decisions about the type of flight you want to take.

Commercial airline flights

As you would expect, this area of ​​aviation has the highest safety requirements and the highest levels of regulatory oversight. All aspects of these flights - airlines, pilots, maintenance personnel, air traffic controllers, etc. - must have the highest licenses and permits. CAA spends a lot of time inspecting all areas of operations and working with the airline industry to continually improve safety standards.

There is an average of one fatality for every 287 million passengers carried by UK operators. This can be compared to a 1 in 19 million chance of being struck by lightning and dying in the UK, or a 1 in 17,000 chance of being killed in a road traffic accident.

Despite our excellent safety record, the UK is still active in identifying and reducing the likelihood of potential causes of accidents so that safety can be continuously improved.

International flight security

Civil aviation safety records for each country are available on the IndependentWebsite der Flight Safety Foundation.

Denial of access to UK airspace

Certain airlines are banned from operating in UK and Channel Islands, Gibraltar and Isle of Man airspace because they are considered unsafe and/or are not adequately supervised by their regulators.

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The list of banned airlines is drawn up by the UK Government in close consultation with the Civil Aviation Authority.

Access the list of banned UK airlines

The European Commission has a supplementary list, details of which can be providedcan be found on the EU website.

Advice for UK consumers on flight cancellations by airlines that are not authorized to operate in the UK

OUK Air Safety List (ASL), colloquially known as the "UK Banned List", is a list of foreign airlines that do not meet required international safety standards. This list also applies to airlines operating to and from the UK. UnderAir Safety List RegulationPassengers have the right to know the identity of any airline they are flying with while traveling. The airline must advise the identity of the operating airline(s) when making the reservation.

For more information, see theflight banspage in our passenger information.


Civil aviation is strictly regulated to ensure the highest level of safety. Basic international regulations are established by a United Nations agency called the International Civil Aviation Organization. Individual national regulatory authorities assume the implementation and enforcement of these regulations in their own country. You can also supplement them to further increase the level of security.

Plane “near miss”

Within controlled airspace, there are strict rules about the distance between aircraft. In the vicinity of airports, the distance is at least three miles horizontally or 1,000 feet vertically. Once an aircraft is on an airway, the horizontal distance normally increases to five miles.

How risk is managed

In addition to the normal roles of pilots and air traffic controllers, there are also technological systems that assist in the separation of aircraft. Air collision avoidance systems (sometimes called TCAS) installed in aircraft constantly scan the area around the aircraft for other flights that pose a risk of collision. When it detects a potential problem, it alerts pilots. Depending on the risk, there are different levels of alert. Each aircraft's system also communicates electronically with the other aircraft's TCAS and can ensure that each pilot executes the opposite maneuver to avoid a collision. For example, the TCAS system on one plane might tell its pilots to climb while the system on the other plane tells its pilots to descend.

Air traffic controllers also have a similar system built into their radar screens known as Short Term Conflict Alert. This will highlight aircraft on the radar screen that the system considers may be off guard.

Very rarely, despite these security systems, the minimum distance is not maintained. When this happens, pilots and air traffic controllers can file a report for incident investigation and review - these reports are known as Airprox (Air Proximity) reports. In 2012, more than one million commercial flights experienced an incident that was independently assessed as posing a risk to the aircraft involved.

Overviews of all incidents are availableUK Airprox Council.

Observation:Only pilots and air traffic controllers can report incidents Airprox

Although people occasionally believe they have witnessed an incident where planes got too close, it is actually impossible to judge the distances between planes, their differences in size and perspective from the ground.

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planes almost crashed

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Aborted landings and go-arounds

Most landing approaches result in a normal safe landing, but occasionally the aircraft may abort the landing. This is called back. They are rare but occur a few times a day at major airports. They occur for a variety of reasons, but they are usually done to stay safe.

Two of the most common reasons to bounce back are:

  • The pilot is dissatisfied with the approach
  • Air traffic control is unsure if the aircraft that lands ahead will leave the runway in time.

In bad weather, especially when it's windy, pilots circle more frequently and the crew may decide they are unhappy with the situation and choose to abort the landing and try again. In both cases, the aircraft descends normally and the controller brings the aircraft into another approach as quickly as possible.

Although they can be unexpected and frightening for passengers, pilots and air traffic controllers are trained to fly - pilots regularly practice them in flight simulators. They help to keep the flight safe and in many cases it would be more dangerous to proceed with the landing.

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Close the abandoned landings and drive around

accident investigation

Traveling by plane is extremely safe. On average, there is one fatality for every 287 million passengers on UK airlines. This can be compared to a 1 in 19 million chance of being struck by lightning and dying in the UK, or a 1 in 17,000 chance of being killed in a road traffic accident.

Unfortunately, as with any form of transport, accidents or incidents can occasionally occur. In Great Britain these are examined by theAeronautical Accident Investigation DivisionIt is an agency of the Ministry of Transport.

Its expert investigators will use air traffic control and air traffic control data, as well as interviews with those affected, to determine the cause. In complex cases, this can take many months. Your reports will be made publicly available.

In some cases, these reports may include recommendations to the CAA, aircraft manufacturers or other organizations to investigate issues or make changes.

Close the accident investigation

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What does the Civil Aviation Safety Authority do? ›

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority is a government body that regulates Australian aviation safety. We license pilots, register aircraft and oversee safety.

What is the difference between FAA and CAA? ›

A CAA is a national regulatory body responsible for aviation. The CAA implements the ICAO SARPs in national legislation and is responsible for regulatory oversight. FAA is the Federal Aviation Administration. As the Civil Aviation Authority of the USA, it is responsible for establishing aviation regulations in the US.

When did FAA change to CAA? ›

On the last day of 1958, the FAA assumed the full scope of its responsibilities, superseding the CAA and also absorbing the Civil Aeronautics Board's safety rulemaking function.

Is ICAO the same as FAA? ›

The ICAO and International Training staff manage the FAA's relationship with ICAO headquarters, and ensures agency-wide coordination of technical aviation policies at ICAO that advance U.S. safety, environmental and efficiency objectives.

Who does CASA report to? ›

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) is the Australian national authority for the regulation of civil aviation. Although distinct from the government, it reports to the Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport.

What is CAA certification aviation? ›

A civil aviation authority (CAA) is a national or supranational statutory authority that oversees the regulation of civil aviation, including the maintenance of an aircraft register.

Who is the Civil Aviation Authority in USA? ›

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is the national aviation authority of the United States that oversees and regulates all aspects of civil aviation matters.

What is the difference between FAA and TSA? ›

The FAA's safety standards and rules stop unworthy pilots from flying and keep faulty aircraft on the ground, while TSA's role is to establish methods that strengthen the security of our infrastructure. Together, these two regulatory bodies enable the aviation industry to keep flying.

What is the difference between EASA and CAA? ›

EASA aircraft fall under the regulations of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), while non-EASA aircraft are regulated by national aviation authorities. The CAA is the national aviation authority in the UK. Many more aircraft are classified as EASA than non-EASA.

Is CAA part of ICAO? ›

The CAA continues to exercise a full role as a member of intergovernmental bodies such as ICAO and Eurocontrol.

Why did the FAA ground all flights? ›

FAA says problem that grounded flights happened when files were unintentionally deleted. The FAA halted all departures nationwide Jan. 11 after an outage to the Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) system.

Do pilots use ICAO or IATA? ›

As such, pilots, dispatchers, and air traffic controllers work primarily in the ICAO airport code scheme.

Is USA in ICAO? ›

The following States were elected from among ICAO's 193 Member States to the Organization's 36 Member Governing Council during the 2019 ICAO Assembly. Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russian Federation, United Kingdom and the United States.

How do I convert ICAO to FAA license? ›

Obtain a letter of authenticity/verification letter from the FAA validating your ICAO pilot license * Obtain TSA approval prior to training. Complete an Airline Transport Pilot Certificate Training Program (ATP/CTP) Pass the ATP written knowledge test (once you have completed your ATP/CTP)

What are the 3 Aviation Safety defenses? ›

Answer and Explanation: Technology, training, regulations are the three basic defence to aviation risk according to the ICAO SMS module 5.

What are the 5 hazardous attitudes in aviation? ›

Complacency might be perceived as the overarching human factors hazardous attitude with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) identified five hazardous attitudes of anti-authority, impulsivity, invulnerability, macho, and resignation a subset of complacency.

What is CASA responsibility? ›

Investigating the current and background facts thoroughly as a fact-finder for the judge. Advocating for the child's best interest by providing a factual written report to the judge and speaking for the child in the courtroom. Facilitating communication in the case.

What is the purpose of a CASA? ›

A Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) is a trained volunteer appointed by a judicial officer to provide advocacy for a child who is under the jurisdiction of the courts due to abuse or neglect. The CASA serves as the “eyes and ears” of the judge for children in foster care.

Can CASA track drones? ›

CASA-verified drone safety apps use location-based maps to show where you can and can't fly your drone according to aviation legislation.

How do I get CAA certified? ›

Read and abide by the NIAAA Code of Ethical and Professional Standards. Candidate must provide copy of a course completion certificates before taking the CAA exam, or submit an NIAAA transcript available through the membership portal. Approval of Personal Data Form (PDF) Successfully complete CAA examination.

How long does it take to become a CAA? ›

To become a CAA, you must complete a master's level training program, which typically takes 24- 28 months to complete. Although most CAA programs require a minimum of 8 hours of shadowing an anesthesiologist or CAA in the OR, most competitive applicants have significantly greater clinical experience.

How long does it take to get a CAA license? ›

The licensing process will take a minimum of 60 days from the date on which the aerodrome manual is agreed with the CAA. It is important that applicants submit the required paperwork sufficiently early to allow for detailed consideration of the application, and for inspection of the site.

What is the top aviation authority in the world? ›

The FAA sets the global civil aviation safety agenda

The most influential civil aviation authority is the FAA. It sets the global civil aviation safety agenda.

Who enforces IATA? ›

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is a trade association of the world's airlines. While IATA itself cannot enforce the regulations it has created, the airlines and the Department of Transportation (DOT) through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) can and do.

Who is responsible for civil aviation security? ›

PCAA directorate of security is designated key regulatory role for ensuring the compliance of aviation security measures as per International and National standards to protect civil aviation from acts of unlawful interference.


The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is an agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that has authority over the security of transportation systems within, and connecting to the United States.

Is TSA a federal or government job? ›

TSA became part of the Department of Homeland Security in March 2003, making up a quarter of the DHS workforce. TSA's scope includes commercial and general aviation; mass transit systems; freight and passenger rail; highways, pipelines and ports.

Is a TSA officer a federal agent? ›

Even though TSA officers are federal employees, they don't have the same rights as other employees at other agencies, thanks to the law creating TSA that gave the agency wide discretion on what it wants to do with employees.

Is EASA the same as FAA? ›

One of the main differences between the FAA and EASA is that, being two different organizations, the type of certifications they issue are different. In some, such as the PPL, direct conversion is possible.

What is Europe's equivalent of FAA? ›

European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) | Federal Aviation Administration.

Can you transfer FAA license to EASA? ›

EASA ATPL certified pilots are authorized to act as Pilot-in-Command of an aircraft in any Airline. In order to convert an FAA Commercial Pilot License to EASA, students have to pass the EASA ATPL written exam in Europe and take the practical training including the exams for the Instrument Rating and CPL+MEP.

Is FAA license an ICAO license? ›

So basically your US/FAA license is a valid "ICAO License" as long as you're flying a US-registered aircraft & the nation you're flying to/through accepts US/FAA licenses (possibly with some additional requirements on a per-country basis).

How to convert CAA Licence to EASA? ›

The EASA ATPL examinations must have been passed entirely under the responsibility of the UK CAA, and final examination pass achieved before 01/01/2021. Otherwise the EASA ATPL theory exams will need to be sat. Your CAA ATPL results will need to be verfied by the IAA.

Why do pilots not fly over the Pacific? ›

Because of its vast size, crossing the Pacific Ocean requires a staggering quantity of fuel. However, most commercial aircraft do not fly directly over the Pacific Ocean; instead, they choose what are known as 'curved paths'. These paths offers a faster, more efficient route given the curved nature of the earth.

Why can't you fly a plane directly south? ›

The reason for this is that the earth revolves on its axis, forcing the middle to bulge out slightly. The curvature of the earth and its extra equatorial width mean that curving towards the poles is a shorter distance than flying in a straight line.

Why are runways not concrete? ›

The differences between them for runways

From a cost perspective, concrete is the more time-consuming surface to install, costing more money in terms of labor hours. It is also more expensive upfront. It is generally stronger, but also more prone to cracking. This can increase the frequency and cost of repairs.

What is the main difference between IATA and ICAO? ›

While IATA is technically considered a non-governmental organization, its key role is as a trade association to represent commercial airlines of the world. On the other side, ICAO acts as an intergovernmental association- supporting diplomacy and cooperation between countries as they relate to air transport.

Are ICAO rules mandatory? ›

It is always the local, national regulations which are enforced in, and by, sovereign states, and which must be legally adhered to by air operators making use of applicable airspace and airports.

What is an ICAO pilot license? ›

Pilot licensing or certification refers to permits for operating aircraft. Flight crew licences are regulated by ICAO Annex 1 and issued by the civil aviation authority of each country. CAA's have to establish that the holder has met a specific set of knowledge and experience before issuing the licence.

Do the FAA and ICAO work together? ›

The ICAO and International Training staff manage the FAA's relationship with ICAO headquarters, and ensures agency-wide coordination of technical aviation policies at ICAO that advance U.S. safety, environmental and efficiency objectives.

What was the 3 states that did not join ICAO? ›

The only non-Contracting States are the Holy See and Liechtenstein.

What is the difference between FAA and ICAO? ›

The FAA does not prohibit aircraft from departing for their destination when the weather is below approach minimums under part 91, however FAR 135.319 does have restrictions that apply when flying commercially. ICAO has restrictions which are called “Approach Ban”.

Are ICAO Sarps mandatory? ›

Recommended Practices are also specifications that contain certain characteristics necessary for their application, but they are not mandatory, unlike standards; their application is however highly desirable to guarantee safety and/or efficiency of international air navigation.

How much does it cost to get FAA certified? ›

Knowledge Testing Centers charge approximately $175 to people seeking to take the initial aeronautical knowledge test.

Can you fly in the US with a foreign pilot license? ›


You will be able to have your ICAO foreign license validated by the FAA, so that you will be able to fly in the US within your rating limitations, and you'll be able to fly a US registered aircraft anywhere in the world!

What is the role of Sacaa? ›

The Act provides for the establishment of a stand-alone authority mandated with controlling, promoting, regulating, supporting, developing, enforcing and continuously improving levels of safety and security throughout the civil aviation industry.

What is the role of the Sacaa in airport infrastructure? ›

The objects of the SACAA are to control and regulate civil aviation in the Republic and to oversee the functioning and development of the civil aviation industry, and in particular, to control, regulate and promote civil aviation safety and security.

What are the key or common roles functions of civil aviation authority in the world? ›

Operate and maintain national airports, air navigation and other similar facilities in compliance to ICAO; Perform such other powers and functions as may be prescribed by law.

Who is the director of SACAA? ›

The Director of Civil Aviation at the South African Civil Aviation Authority Poppy Khoza was elected by the Civil Aviation Organisation's member states to serve as President for the 41st Assembly that consists of delegates from 193 countries.

What is the role of the CAA auditors? ›

They make assessments based on observations, inspections, audits and tests to ensure all processes and procedures are compliant. In addition, Security Management Systems (SeMS) are being rolled out to the aviation industry and a team is in place to manage the process and its delivery.

What are cats and cars? ›

CATS & CARS Training

The Cranfield CATS & CARS course is a 1-day program which has been developed to assist aviation personnel in understanding of the legislative structure, design, documentation, amendments and communication.

What are the 3 key functions undertaken by airports? ›

Direct effects. Include the activities undertaken at the airport itself: services to passengers (check-in, security, boarding), cargo (loading and unloading), and aircraft (refueling, cleaning).

What are the three functional departments of the airport ground operations called? ›

Ground Operations Governance
  • Ground Operations Group (GOG)
  • Ground Operations Standards Task Force (GOS)
  • Ground Operations Automations and Digitalization Group (GAD)

What are the eight functional areas of general aviation security? ›

The eight functional areas of security are:
  • Risk-based methodology.
  • Personnel.
  • Aircraft.
  • Infrastructure: Airports/Facilities (including fixed based operators (FBOs) and corporate based operators (CBOs))
  • Surveillance.
  • Security Plans and Communications.
  • Specialty Operations.
  • Tenants and Users.
Jul 2, 2019

What 5 things are controlled by the ICAO? ›

The ICAO's activities have included establishing and reviewing international technical standards for aircraft operation and design, crash investigation, the licensing of personnel, telecommunications, meteorology, air navigation equipment, ground facilities for air transport, and search-and-rescue missions.

What are the 5 objectives of civil aviation? ›

  • Administrative organization and establishment of Civil Aviation Authority.
  • Civil aviation regulatory framework.
  • Economic and financial studies.
  • Support for the implementation of ICAO standards.
  • Development of civil aviation/airport master plans.


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